PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another day, another controversial image, raising concerns among parents. This time, it’s a photo of students at St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia and it shows a student holding up a laptop with an image of the confederate flag full screen. Another student sitting next to him, holds a laptop with an image of President-Elect Donald Trump.
According to parents, who spoke on the phone with Eyewitness News, the other students didn’t realize the picture of the flag was being shows. Nonetheless, the school has taken action and released this statement:
St. Joseph’s Prep is aware of the incident and has taken action. We are working with our students to help them recognize the hurt that images like this can cause and hope to utilize it as a teaching moment for the students involved and the entire student body. We are confident that the feelings evoked by the image in this photo do not reflect the values of our school community, one filled with a diversity of backgrounds, thoughts and ideas. We celebrate that diversity and pray for a peaceful resolution in our schools, communities and nation.
“For the student, it’s a little too late. Cat’s out of the bag so to speak,” said Eric Meyer of the social media practice group Dilworth Paxson.
Meyers, an attorney and social media expert, lectures at schools and universities, advising students and staff about how to use social media responsibly. He says it’s situations like these that remind us how important it is for teens to realize their posts can have severe consequences.
“Stay away from hate speech, from racism, drug and alcohol references, especially is you’re underage,” Meyer said.
Other school in the area are dealing with straight on acts of vandalism on the heels of the election, like Council Rock School District after swastikas, homophobic slurs and “I Love Trump,” references were found scrawled in bathrooms at Council Rock High School North. Authorities say the repercussions will be stiff for those found responsible for the hate-filled vandalism. Meantime, while the post at St. Joe’s Prep was quickly removed, it could still have lasting affects.
“Five years from now, 10 years from now, when you’re a student and you’re entering the job market trying, this is something the person with hiring decisions may look for. Think before you click,” Meyer reminded.